Andrena nigrospina

Andrena nigrospina is a pRed Data Book 1 (pRDB1) solitary bee currently only found in two discreet areas of the country, the West Midlands and Essex, particularly the south Staffs/Worcestershire border and West Thurrock/Greys.

Work undertaken by Andy Jukes between 2009-2016 (see the links and downloads page for reports) has been able to shed more light on the species ecology including its nesting preferences, pollen foraging and genetic difference with it’s sibling species, A.pilipes. The bee’s nesting and foraging habits have been explored and the bee’s known pollen preferences expanded. It now appears that the bee will utilise many more species of flower than previously thought, including poppies. As part of the project, new areas were explored and the bee has now been recorded at new sites.

We are now in a position to manage sites and the wider landscape to help the bee maintain and hopefully expand its isolated populations into other favourable areas. Monitoring will also be required to continually assess the management of these key sites. The bee’s very rare specific parasite Nomada ‘subcornuta’, which has only recently been identified as separate from Nomada fulvicornis (another DNA project lead by Andy Jukes to  shed light on its relationship with N.fulvicornis sens lato.has also been found in new areas through intensive survey over a number of years by Andy Jukes.